ARDs… I think I can probably help with that.
Here’s some basic tips for making ARDs. The best way is to test your own defense and see where it is good and bad, but as you may not be the best at ARO, then it’s not effective. Like me, because I’m far better at ARDs than ARO, sometimes I can barely beat my own ARDs without multiple attempts.
- Overlap your ranges.
Make it so it is impossible to solo bait (bait a single unit by themselves) no matter what. Extend ranges with rally traps, movement skills like Ground Orders or Guidance, if need be.
- Don’t block your units in.
It’s just giving the opponent options. Do NOT hide your units behind walls. Leave them out and threatening. Walls just leave a space to snipe over. Just don’t block your units behind structures please. Sorta linked but don’t hide a unit in the corner. It may be sorta effective occasionally at lower tier AR, but most of the time it’s a waste of a unit slot.
- Remember that structures can be destroyed, but NOT by your own units.
Look at your own ARD with all the structures removed and see if it’s ok. If you spot that there’s an easy solo bait with some structures removed then change it up. Only the fort is indestructible, so pretend that none of the structures are there, because the foe can break them. Your units cannot, so hiding behind structures is bad because your units will flop around, not having any room to move.
- Have a strong offensive presence.
Having a strong offensive presence is tbh way more important than a defensive one, solely because tanking is way more common than hit and run or galeforce. (I’ll get to vantage in a sec).
Use strong nukes than are as close to untankeable as possible. Use units like Ophelia, Lysithea, L!Julia. If your ARD has no offensive presence a tank can just plop themselves down and get an easy win. Skills like Infantry Pulse make the ARD even harder to tank.
- Use a hardy bearing user.
This prevents vantage for the most part. Without a hardy bearing user, a vantage unit can just place themselves on a bolt trap and sweep the whole team. Firesweep and such serves the same purpose as well.
- Make sure your traps are actually doing something.
Traps placed too far away from combat are easily tested with no repercussions. Ideally traps would all not be smite testeable, but that’s sometimes too hard. Just place your traps around your units pretty much.
- Use a healing tower.
It’s by far the most important defense building. Bolt towers are a huge threat, and without a healing tower, it can be really difficult to defend when your units have to get by with like 1 HP. Protect your healing tower. In any given ARD there’ll be a spot for a building, always protect the healing tower.
- Use mythics if you can.
The sad thing about ARD is that AR as a whole is tipped super far in ARO’s favour. For this reason, it’s often good to have a safety net if your ARD does lose. No ARD is perfect, ARO simply has too many options. So when you do lose, the mythics will reduce the loss as much as possible. Yes it’s a pain to fit some of them in looking at you Yune, but do it anyways.
Nearly forgot but this next one is VERY important.
- USE A DANCER
Save for a very few strats (like cavlines) dancers are absolutely vital for a good ARD. In light season try to use two dancers, due to the presence of Mila. In anima you can get away with one. If you don’t use a dancer, then you’ll just get wrecked by hit and run. Don’t even try to not use a dancer, it’ll not work.
- Just make your ARD unpredictable.
Use skills like WoM, units like L!Chrom or Lucy, and dancers, so that the team can not be predicted. The AI is quite complex actually, and you can make use of it, but tbh that’s a little difficult. Just make it so there’s no telling where the threat range will end up.
So that’s a lot of tips for ARDs.
Specifically for low fortress levels, you may wanna consider a cavline with two mythics. Simply because the extra 32 BST all the enemies get is super powerful, so just try and ‘cheese’ your way into a couple kills, and use mythics to reduce loss. Some strats are simply impossible to pull off with a lvl 3 fort.